- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 30, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The New York Times has turned into a docile tool of anti-gun organizations. The newspaper hates firearms so much that it published a front page story with no news, but only decade-old testimony, in an attempt to blame gun manufacturers for recent mass shootings.

On Tuesday, the above-the-fold headline in the paper blared: “Gun Makers Saw No Role in Curbing Improper Sales.” The story was on the top right side, next to a large photo of a young mother holding her young son at her veteran husband’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

Not subtle.

The reporters, Mike McIntire and Michael Luo, cherry-picked court documents from the early 2000s in an attempt to prove that manufacturers do not care about crimes perpetrated by criminals misusing illegally obtained guns.

All the quotes that lead the story by executives from major companies including Glock, Taurus, MKS Supply, Beretta, and Sturm, Ruger were drawn from depositions in lawsuits brought by the Brady Campaign on behalf of big cities against firearms manufacturers to hold them financially liable for gun violence.

It was not revealed until the fourth paragraph of the story that the quotes from firearms manufacturers were over 10 years old.

Also, buried toward the end of the story, was the key information that these suits “were dismissed by judges or withdrawn.”

Still, the reporters attempted to make it seem the suits were dismissed only because they were forced to do so: “In some states, legislatures passed their own laws shielding gun makers from liability, leading to dismissals, and most of the suits that survived were eventually stymied by the federal immunity legislation passed in 2005.”

The story is accompanied by a photo of President George W. Bush signing the law that made companies no longer liable for the actions of criminals. The New York Times has the second highest circulation of daily papers in the U.S., after The Wall Street Journal. 

The New York Times omits one of the biggest cases between Boston and the gun manufacturers. That’s because the city dropped its three-year product-liability and public-nuisances lawsuits in March 2001.

The plaintiff statement attached to the court dismissal said that Boston “acknowledges that the members of the industry and firearms trade associations are genuinely concerned with and are committed to the safe, legal and responsible sale and use of their products.” The industry made no concessions in return for the dismissal.

Leaving out this major case helped The Times with its pre-determined storyline and also protected the Brady people from admitting defeat.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which is the firearm manufacturers’ trade association, was alerted by its members last week that the New York Times was calling for comment. Lawrence Keane, NSSF’s general counsel and senior vice president, contacted the Times’ reporters over the weekend to give the industry’s point of view.

According to Mr. Keane, the reporters said it may be too late and the story could run on Monday. When the story was published on Tuesday, his quotes were far down the article and a series of safety programs were not mentioned by name.

“The Times’ story fails because, like the Brady Center’s municipal lawsuits against our industry, the underlying premise that the industry is indifferent to the criminal misuse of its products is demonstrably false,” Mr. Keane told me in an interview Wednesday.

The old news didn’t have any reason to be the lead story in the major paper. In order to do so,  the testimony was linked to current events with the flimsy excuse that many of those who were deposed still work at the companies and “the issues they were asked about have not gone away.”

The real agenda was to get readers to blame the manufacturers for what criminals do with their products.

“In the wake of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and other recent high-profile shootings, the gun industry’s response — that existing laws should be better enforced rather than new restrictions imposed — largely mirrors its stance from a decade ago,” wrote the news reporters.

There was no smoking gun. Even the quotes taken out of context show that the manufacturers were abiding by the Second Amendment, as well as common sense.

For example, Beretta’s general counsel, Jeffrey Reh, is quoted last week that, “Beretta U.S.A.’s position is and has always been that the purchase by an individual of multiple firearms is not, in and of itself, evidence of improper or suspicious behavior.”

The Brady Center clearly pushed this story to The Times. The rabidly anti-gun group’s Legal Action Project represented the cities in court. As plaintiff’s‘ counsel, only they would know how to find these sealed documents all over the U.S.

The story said documents were “obtained by The New York Times” although “much of the testimony was marked confidential, and transcripts were packed away in archives at law firms and courthouses around the country.”

Midway through the piece, the legal director of the Brady Center, Jonathan Lowy, is described as being “involved in most of the suits.”

“Boston was the first — but not the only — city that abandoned its baseless lawsuit, essentially firing Mr. Lowy and the other Brady Center lawyers.” said Mr. Keane.

The Brady Campaign has become a non-player in the gun-control advocacy sphere. Since the lawsuits stopped in 2005 and Mayor Mike Bloomberg started leading the efforts a couple years later, the organization has been largely cut out of Capitol Hill and White House policy and political strategizing sessions.

The Gray Lady seems to have ripped down the wall between its news department and its opinion pages.

The uber-liberal editorial page has been attacking the Second Amendment nonstop since the Newtown shooting. Headlines of editorials have included: The Deadly Fantasy of Assault Weapons, The Moment for Action on Guns, Dangerous Gun Myths and Violent, Drunk and Holding a Gun.

Gun manufacturers are to blame for firearms crimes as much as car manufacturers are to blame for drunk driving accidents.

The left is using all its allies to promote the idea in order to pass more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. Second Amendment supporters have no voice in The New York Times.

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